January 30, 2024 at 2:01pm
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Article by Elena Ferrarin
Northbrook Park District
Whether they are into arts, sports, STEM, figure skating, dance or theater, children and teens can have a fabulous, enriching summer by participating in the wide array of camps and workshops offered by the Northbrook Park District.
Parent Izabela Majewski said she encourages families to check out the park district’s diverse lineup of summer offerings, which her children Anthony, 7, and Thomas, 10, have enjoyed for the past three years. The boys especially loved “Sports Mania Camp,” where sessions can include basketball, volleyball, baseball, handball, track and field, soccer, tennis and much more, she said.
“They get introduced to new sports that they normally don’t play, or shy away from, in school, and they really like it,” Majewski said. “I really like that too. It’s very well-rounded and it gives me peace of mind that they are doing something that is good for them.”
Summer camp registration is open. If you register by March 6, you can save 10% on most summer camps and workshops. If your desired camp or workshop is full, you’re encouraged to put your name on a waitlist.
Summer camp programming runs June through August at park district facilities and local schools with activities in parks, playgrounds and swimming pools, as well as field trip opportunities. The flexible schedule allows children to try multiple camps each summer: there are half-day camp options for ages 3 to 5, full-day camps for ages 5 to 14, one-week camps for various ages, and pre- and post-season camps. Families have the option to choose extended care, payment plans and lunches ordered through the Kiddos Catering program.
New this year is “World Explorers Camp” for ages 3 to 5, where children embark on a journey “around the globe” to discover the wonders of our diverse world. Also new is “Lil’ Artists Camp” for ages 5 to 7, where budding artists can explore a medley of art mediums. Artists ages 8 to 13 can unleash their creativity with a variety of art projects under the guidance of professional art instructors during “Artistic Explorers,” another new camp this summer.
“With trained staff guiding the way, kids not only have fun but can create memories and build skills through recreational experiences,” Northbrook Park District Director of Recreation Eileen Loftus said. “A camp leader for decades, the park district intentionally reassesses and updates its programming each year to provide a variety of offerings that fit the needs and interests of youths of all abilities. We also take pride in providing a carefully thought-out and enjoyable learning environment that puts parents and families at ease.”
Parent Andrea Giannini said her children Ben, 7, and Elizabeth, 5, also are looking forward to once again attending park district camps this summer. “Ben loved it last year. He has done other camps and he specifically told us he wanted to come back to the Northbrook Park District,” she said. “He seemed to build a good relationship with the camp counselors and has made some good friends.”
A former lifeguard, Giannini added that she particularly values the park district’s focus on safety during pool activities.
Camp site director Nick Horvat said many children develop great relationships with staff members, who can serve as role models. “So many kids are excited to see you again and remember you. It’s great to see them develop as people, and you really see that positive impact you’ve had,” he said. “We have great resources, and we are in a great community, and I’m glad we’re able to give the community these kinds of offerings and support.”
Families can meet summer camp supervisors during an open house 5:30 to 7pm on Thursday, February 29 at Techny Prairie Activity Center, 180 Anets Drive in Northbrook. There will be guided activities for children while the adults have a chance to obtain information and ask questions.
For more information or to register, visit nbparks.org/summercamps or call (847) 291-2993. The park district offers inclusion services to residents with special needs thanks to a partnership with the North Suburban Special Recreation Association, which provides support staff during summer camps. To request inclusion services, which come at no additional cost to families, check “ADA” on the registration form. “For personalized assistance in choosing the perfect camp, our dedicated customer service team is always happy to help,” Loftus said.